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Interview with Genghis Khan

Interview with Genghis Khan

I know what you are thinking. Genghis died in the year 1227. That’s almost 800 years ago. True. But there have been many remarkable new developments in cryogenic research that you may not be aware of. I learned recently of Genghis’ defrosted re-emergence and was fortunate to get this one interview with him before the paparazzi descended. Herewith is our conversation verbatim.

me – Nice to meet you, Emperor Khan. (I know that sounds redundant but I didn’t know how else to address him). May I call you Genghis?

Genghis – If you like, although my real name is Temujin.

me – That’s an interesting name. What does it mean?

Genghis – Damned if I know. My father, Yesugei Borjigin, and my mother, Ho’elen, named me. But it was really hard for me growing up when my friends started with all those ‘Yo, momma,’ jokes. You can easily imagine how they shortened my momma’s name.

me – Oh, yes. It seems people had uncommon names in those days.

Genghis – Really? What about Lady Gaga? Duchess O’Blunt? frogdropping? de Greek? Sweetsusie? Epigramman? Prettydarkhorse? Are those common names?

Genghis Khan 1162 - 1227

Genghis Khan 1162 - 1227

our yurt

our yurt

Early Years

me – Good point, Genghis. Where were you born?

Genghis – In Hentley province, Mongolia near the Onon River. Around 1162. I can’t be certain of the date since they didn’t keep very good records then. You could call Andy Rooney. He might remember.

me – Did you have any siblings?

Genghis – Any what?

me – Any brothers or sisters?

Genghis – Sure. I was the oldest with three brothers, Imaad, Khajiun, and Temüge, and one sister, Temulin, as well as two half-brothers, Bekhter and Belgutei.

It was pretty crowded growing up in that small yurt. We would all have been sleeping in one bed . . . if beds had been invented. But I knew I would own a bigger yurt one day.

If you read just one book about Genghis Khan, read the first one by Jack Weatherford

angry marmot

angry marmot

me – Why is that?

Genghis – When I was born I was holding a large blood clot in my fist – that’s a divine sign that I was destined to rule the largest world empire ever established. Like Rhode Island.

me – Good to know. I have read that the Mongol tribes were nomads. So you moved around a lot?

Scroll to Continue

Genghis – yeah, my early years were difficult. Today, children play games like ‘Duck, Duck, Goose, Hide and Seek or Red Rover’. When I was young, we played ‘Duck, Duck, Kill the Goose, Hide and Stab, or Red Rover, Red Rover, Your Life is Over’.

My father delivered me to the family of my future wife when I was only nine years old as part of a pre-arranged marriage agreement. I was supposed to live there working for my future father-in-law until I reached the mature age of 12 and got married.

That didn’t happen because my father who was head of the Borjigin clan was poisoned on his journey home by the neighboring Tatars in retaliation for his raids against them. I think they served him a pizza with bad mushrooms. This gave me a legitimate claim to be my clan's chief, but the clan refused to be led by a pre-teen and abandoned me and my family.

me – That’s really tough.

Genghis – You have no idea! For the next few years, my family and I were very poor nomads living on wild fruits, fish, small game, and lots of marmots.

me – Marmots?

Genghis – We called them marmots. You call them large rats. I must admit that one time I ‘lost it” when we all were starving and my half-brother, Bekhter, didn’t want to share his hunting spoils with the rest of us. I fought him and he died. I did what I had to do and became head of the family.

me – Did your mother ever forgive you?

Khulan Chuluun who played the role of Genghis' wife, Borte, in the movie, "Mongol"

Khulan Chuluun who played the role of Genghis' wife, Borte, in the movie, "Mongol"

Genghis – Yes, she understood and she was the one who taught me how to survive in the harsh world we were living in. She taught me the importance of trust and independence. She used to say, “Temujin, remember you have no companions but your shadow.” That didn’t make much sense to me when I was young but later I realized she meant be your own man and don’t trust completely anyone but yourself..

She also explained the realities of the political climate in Mongolia with its many separate and antagonistic clans. Much like your Democrats and Republicans and the Coffee Party.

me – I think you are referring to the Tea Party. Moving on, what would you say is the most important lesson you learned from your mother?

Genghis – The importance of making alliances with others was a lesson I never forgot. Two of my future generals, Jeime and Bo’orchu, joined my family and together with my four brothers and the rest of my clan formed the beginning of my army.

me – Did you get married?

Genghis – Yes. I married Borte of the Konkirat tribe when I was 16. It was one of those tribal alliances. She was later kidnapped in a raid by the Merkit tribe and I rescued her from her new, temporary Merkit husband with the help of my friends. When I became Emperor she was my only empress but I had several other wives as well – tradition, you know. There was Ujin, Kulan, Yisugen,Yisui – I can’t remember them all.

Mongolian Empire

Mongolian Empire

Mongolian Empire

I loved Borte the most but our first child, Jochi, was born less than nine months after I rescued her from the Merkits so there was always that little nagging doubt in my mind. We had three more sons too: Chagatai. Ögedei, and Tolui.

Note: Genghis Khan also had many other children with his other wives, but they were excluded from succession, and records on what daughters he may have had are scarce. No surprise.

me - When did you become a Khan?

Genghis - When I was 27 I was elected Khan by my clan and I gave the best jobs to my relatives and most loyal followers. As we conquered more and more people I didn’t follow custom by looting and leaving. Instead I assimilated them into my growing Mongol army I was listening to television recently and heard your president say,” Punish your enemies and reward your friends." He got that line from me. That was my philosophy.

A few years later I was confirmed as Chingis Khaan (Genghis Khan) or leader of all Mongolia. My army grew and grew to the point where they were unbeatable. I united the Mongol tribes and forged a powerful army based on meritocracy, and became one of the most successful military leaders in history.

We went on to conquer central Asia, the Middle East and the Caucasus. In fact – a little PR here – in a span of just 25 years, my horsemen conquered a larger area with greater population than the Romans did in 400 years.

The movie, "Mongol" was nominated for an Oscar in 2007

me – That really is remarkable. Genghis, are you aware that some historians have characterized you as a barbarian who was evil, cruel and brutal? They say you slaughtered the inhabitants of entire villages if they resisted you.

Genghis - I behaved no differently than other conquerors at that time. I was no more cruel, just more successful. And the people in the villages and towns were warned beforehand by my advance publicity crew not to resist.

me - You had an advance publicity crew? Like the one used by the circus?

Genghis - Yes, where do you think P. T. Barnum learned that strategy? My crew spread gossip and scare tactics in advance so that villagers would be more frightened, surrender quickly and less bloodshed would take place.

I knew what my people wanted - they wanted everything in life that is good and nothing that is bad. I knew I could not promise that so instead I pledged to share both the sweet and the bitter of life with them. I constantly made alliances – I didn’t want to end up being poisoned like my father. And I attacked anyone who posed a serious threat. Just like the politicians today do on television. They learned that from me, too.

Genghis Khan and George Bush

Genghis Khan and George Bush

Key Achievements

me - Which are your proudest achievements?

Genghis - Well, recently I met George Bush. That’s him in the photo with me.

me - No, I meant back in the day.

Genghis - Most people don't know this but I helped create a writing system for the Mongolian language based on the existing Uyghur script, developed a paper currency, and created the first ever Pony Express to communicate with my warriors in the field.

As I encountered new cultures, I adopted or adapted their best practices, and constantly updated my tactics and strategies. Steve Jobs learned that from me.

Who was Genghis Khan?

Great Yasa Code

I was responsible for bringing Law to my people. I never learned to read and write, too busy catching marmots for food. So I had one of my teacher-followers inscribe on scrolls a code of laws known as the Great Yasa. Roughly translated, this Mongol code included the following:

• The spoils of war - we used to call it booty although I discovered it has a new meaning now - were divided evenly among all my warriors regardless of their status.

• A soldier may get drunk no more than three times a month.

• After the death of his father, a son may dispose of the father's wives, all except his mother; he may marry them or give them in marriage to others.

• An adulterer is to be put to death without any regard as to whether he is married or not.

• Whoever is guilty of sodomy is to be put to death.

• All Mongols are ordered to present all their daughters to the Khan at the beginning of each year that he might choose some of them for himself and his children. (January was my favorite month).

• Children born of a concubine are to be considered as legitimate

• Whoever urinates into water or ashes is also to be put to death.

• The kidnapping of women is forbidden. (Borte, my bride, had been kidnapped and my mother, Ho'elen, had been kidnapped from her husband by Yesugei, my father!)

• Respect all religions, the aged and the poor. (I myself worshipped the sky).

• Whoever takes goods on credit and becomes bankrupt, then again takes goods and again becomes bankrupt, then takes goods again and yet again becomes bankrupt is to be put to death after he third time. (No sissy credit cards in my kingdom).

There were many more laws as well and whoever violates these commands is put to death.

Secret Burial Site

me – Speaking of death, the mystery of where you were buried has long intrigued historians. Do you know where that secret burial site was?

Genghis – I’m not certain but I did meet Jimmy Hoffa. He was buried right next to me.

me - you met Jimmy Hoffa? Where? Where?

. . . and then I woke up!

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Genghis Khan's descendants extended the empire and maintained power in the region for several hundred years, in civilizations in which harems and concubines were the norm. And the males were extremely prolific. His eldest son is reported to have had 40 sons. His grandson, Kublai Khan, who established the Yuan Dynasty in China, had 22 legitimate sons, and was reported to have added 30 virgins to his harem each year.

Genghis may have done more than rule the largest empire in the world. According to a recently published genetic study, he may have helped populate it, too. Almost 8% of the men living in the former Mongol empire carry y-chromosomes that are nearly identical. That translates to roughly 16 million descendants living today.

Sources: Mayell, Hillary, "National Geographic News." 2003.

Ratchnevsky, Paul. ''Genghis Khan: His Life and Legacy.'' Blackwell Publishing, 1991.

Weatherford, Jack. "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World." Three Rivers Press, 2005.

© Copyright BJ Rakow Ph.D. 2010, 2011. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So." How to write a dynamic resume and cover letter, network effectively, interview professionally, and negotiate assertively. Includes chapter for older workers.

Comments for Interview with Genghis Khan

dez nuts on August 01, 2020:

this funny

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on May 12, 2015:

So nice to meet you, Locomotive. Happy you found this hub as well as some new information about Genghis. He was, as you pointed out, a most remarkable leader who left a number of legacies for his people. History has tended to underrate his influence.

Locomotive on May 11, 2015:

Haha, very nice historical summary. Spot on on everything that I knew about Genghis Khan n then some that i did not know about him. Very clever way of you to down play his "World population reduction", n I must agree with you although countless lives were lost due to Genghis, there was always a sense of righteousness with this remarkable historical figure. He really believed the whole world should be united n living in harmony with him watching above. With him it's like, alright, here are the laws n purnishments if you violate it. It's ironic that this so called Tyrant got the law down correctly. some purnishments are harsh for the crime? Perhaps....but if one can eliminate the bad seeds, he would prevent castatrophies. Gengish's Empire is the lesser of the two evils compared to the Roman Empire IMO.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on April 14, 2012:

Hi, John. I've been called many things in my lifetime, but your 'parabolic' appellation is a first. Thank you ... I think. I am fond of 'exhilating sense of humor' and 'talented writer,' though so don't stop dropping in. And thank you for the Up.

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on April 14, 2012:

drbj, you're parabolic style sense of humor is exhilarating; you're a very talented writer.

Voted up and interesting


drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on April 10, 2012:

It is always a treat, my dear Derdriu, to find you here at one of my hubs. What a coincidence that you found this interview with Genghis to be one of your favorites. It's one of my favorites, too, for two reasons: first, because I was able to find so many interesting and funny parallels between Genghis' life and life today; and second, because it was the first of the 20 or so Interviews I have written. I guess the first 'baby' is always special.

The Khan may have been illiterate but he was brilliant in military strategy and possessed an inborn knowledge of what his people needed.

Thank you, m'luv, for finding him and for all the superlative adjectives and Up vote. You asked, why did he mention Coffee Party instead of Tea Party? He did . . . because he could! :)

Derdriu on April 09, 2012:

DrBJ, This is my favorite of all your fascinating, humorous, informative interviews. In particular, I enjoyed the comparisons between then and now in politico-economic strategies and through names. Also, I liked your bringing the advance PR of Genghis Khan footloose and fancy-full of protecting Mongolian culture through territorial conquest.

Genghis was an individual of his times and all times as well as a person beyond the constraints of time in his appreciation of family and friends, hard work, nature and simplicity. In terms of cruelty, I favor him over my least favorite monarchs, William of Normandy and Matilda of Flanders.

Thank you for sharing, voted up + all (of course since it's DrBJ).

Respectfully, Derdriu

P.S. Why did Genghis say Coffee Party instead of Tea Party?

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 29, 2012:

Thank you, awayre, for finding Genghis and your kind comments. 'Amazing hub' is one of my all-time favorites. So is 'reading more of what I write.' And thanks for the Up! Genghis thanks you, too.

Bhavesh Naik from Maryland, USA on March 27, 2012:

Amazing hub! I will be coming to this hub to read more and be reading more of what you write. Voted up, of course.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on February 22, 2012:

Nice to meet you, soumen. Despite his methods which were common in his time, Genghis was revered by his people. Thank you for the visit and your 'come alive' comment. The interview style is one of my favorites - thank you for appreciating it.

soumentheanimater on February 22, 2012:

Genghis Khan was a cruel leader. He surrounded with many massacre. Killed thousand of people. I love to know about history, but you have made it come alive. The interview style is very well done.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on September 20, 2011:

What a pleasure to have you here, dear Sunshine questioner. Perhaps you were a prosecutor in a former life or maybe an HR recruiter. Even, perish forbid, a psychologist. Like you, I question almost everything I learn so we do have a lot in common.

Thank you for finding this interview and the UP. Now you only have about 19 more of these Interviews to read. :)

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on September 20, 2011:

Hi!!! How interesting!! I just noticed you interviewed yourself in your profile!! I've been interviewing since I was about 10 years old...I was always a nosy, curious child and that's how I got my other nickname the "Queen Of Questions." Interesting how you conduct your interviews. Well done. I don't know how I didn't notice these before. Voted UP!!!:)

ED Kassner on August 07, 2011:

(drbj) Again I say unto you and bestow MANY THANKS ---- THEN-- "SO BE IT"--- And ALLWAYS SHALL BE---"AS WRITEN THIS-8th MONTH 7th DAY OF OUR LORD 2011-AD.-ED.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on August 07, 2011:

You know I will stay happy with clever commenters like yourself finding me, Ed, and leaving perspicacious remarks. Delighted you are having a blast reading my stuff - may you live long in good health and prosper.

I have spoken!

ED Kassner on August 07, 2011:

Thanks (drbj)You are of VERY sharp wit and so entertaining to read.I get this feeling that you could sometimes put a pie like this(KHAN MAN) in the window for someone like me to bite on.If so or if not its a blast to be able to play.Thanks again and continue to stay happy.ED.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on August 02, 2011:

Now that was a pistol, Ed, NOT a cheap shot. You're firing on all eight cylinders, my man. Genghis was a Khan Man - now why didn't I think of that?

Ed Kassner on July 30, 2011:

HI (DRBJ) One of my favoriate parts was his ability to send in people ahead of the attack and scare the hell out of the defenders so as to avoid bloodshed. A real KAHN MAN.( CHEAP SHOT)Great article thanks again.ED.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on June 14, 2011:

Hi, upal, nice to see you here. I couldn't communicate with Genghis via FB - he didn't know how to read. Although he helped to create a language when he became Khan. I had to use my supernatural ESP power to learn about his life and times. I'm delighted that this hub may provide the impetus for you to read about him again.

Ashraf Mir from Dhaka on June 13, 2011:

I have a question, how did you communicate with emperor Genghis Khan? Was it a face book communication? You have recalled my memory of history I read that in his biography early of my school level. After reading this hub article I wish to read that book again.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on April 26, 2011:

Oh, you're living dangerously, Ghost 32, with two bankruptcies to your credit. Or would the appropriate term be to your debit?

Not surprised at all that Gore may have channeled Genghis - some of his utterances have been 'out of this world.'

Thanks for finding this and your literate comments. It's my pleasure to meet you.

Ghost32 on April 25, 2011:

Temujin was far too modest in this interview. I have it on good authority that Al Gore got the ideas for both the Internet and global warming from the Great Khan as well.

Voted Up and Across. I particularly liked the fact that a man was not put to death until his third bankruptcy, especially I've only had two of those....

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 13, 2011:

Hail and welcome, lovely Duchess. I am honored by your presence. Especially since you loved my history lesson and were kind enough to leave all those delicious comments. Thank you. You inspire me to even greater heights. Well, maybe not great heights, but definitely large hills!

Duchess OBlunt on March 12, 2011:

A very thorough, and delightful history lesson drbj. I always loved history, but you have made it come alive. This is better than watching the movie. Love the humor.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on December 04, 2010:

Thank you, christophe. 'Brilliant and awesome' - two of my very favorite Hub adjectives. Now you are one of my favorites, too. :)

Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on December 04, 2010:

Brilliant. It is hard to decide which of your interviews is best, this one or Dracula. I shall settle for saying they are both awesome. Thank you.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on December 02, 2010:

Yes, katie, Genghis' mom seemed to be a very wise woman. She realized, because of the age they were living in, that her son would live longer if he only trusted his shadow.

Thank you immensely for such awesome comments - all true of course.

'Brilliant and widely creative', eh? Come back - any time. Peace upon you, too, my dear.

Katie McMurray from Ohio on December 01, 2010:

WOW, none but your shawdow indeed, it seems as though he lived by this, little did he know his shawdow would be lurking about all these years later. Your a brillant and widely creative mind who just keeps getting better. I love this interviewing segment look forward to reading the others. Thanks so your craft it's a pleasure. Peace :)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 29, 2010:

Thank you, Micky, for visiting and your approving comments. Like you, I enjoy my educational history laced with humor. Makes it much more palatable and memorable. Try not to miss my other "undead" Interviews - I would appreciate your views.

Micky Dee on November 28, 2010:

Very funny and educational. I'll always prefer to read history like this! Thank you!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 23, 2010:

Thank you, moncrieff, for both your visit and your literate comments. I was pleasantly surprised by your reference to Lev Vygotsky since many in the U.S. may not be aware of his brilliant (to me) social psychology theories.

Makes one wonder, doesn't it, who was Genghis' mentor?

moncrieff on November 22, 2010:

I solemnly welcome this hub for it expands people's understanding of other nations and cultures! I'm acutely aware that people can break their tongues by trying to pronounce those Mongolian names... Nevertheless, as Vygotsky taught us, developing one's language one enhances their thinking.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 22, 2010:

Actually, ah, the photo of Genghis with Bush took place at the Sundance Film Festival. Genghis was there hoping to persuade Robert Redford to film the story of his life. Working title is "Road to Mongolia."

Thanks a bunch for the "daft nonsense" comment. As for the "idiot" designation - I'm truly honored. It's a step above my former cognomen - imbecile.

attemptedhumour from Australia on November 22, 2010:

I'm sure he was at the Khan film festival talking to Elvis. Great hub full of daft nonsense that idiots like you and I thrive on. Cheers

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 18, 2010:

Hi, Jeremey, nice to see you here. Thank you for the good luck wishes. The nomination for "top of the class" came as a complete surprise to me. Didn't even know it existed. :)

Jeremey from Arizona on November 18, 2010:

Good luck with your "top of the class" nomination!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 17, 2010:

Welcome, saleheensblog, nice to meet you. Thank you for stopping by and your gracious comments. Delighted you like the hub, the videos, the information and the "awesome" layout. No thanks are necessary, it was my pleasure!

saleheensblog from Dhaka,Bangladesh on November 17, 2010:

I like the hub and the videos. You have taught really well and the layout was awesome. thanks for all these information

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 17, 2010:

Wow, 'magisterial' and 'humbling' in the same sentence. I am honored by your presence and your literate comments. Do hope you are not still sleeping in that marketplace tub and carrying your lantern around in the daytime.

Thank you for finding me and the good luck wishes. Happy to make your acquaintance.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 17, 2010:

Welcome, 25, hope you don't mind my using your nickname. How nice to see you here and I'm delighted you "loved" my dialogue-rich historical hub. And "enjoyable," too. You always know the right things to say. :)

diogenes from UK and Mexico on November 16, 2010:

A magisterial effort. Humbling, really. Of course, where I stand, Genghis won't arrive for a few thousand years. I'm not surprised, though, man is ever so: we sue for peace and keep making weapons. I must return to my barrel and meditate on all this....Good luck in the have mine. Diogenes

twentyfive on November 16, 2010:

Loved how you put it in dialogue. It's a very enjoyable read ;)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 14, 2010:

Melinda, m'luv,

Delighted you found time to join the party. The episode about Genghis holding the blood clot in his fist is true. The allusion to "Rhode Island" may be fictional. But you enjoyed it. That's all that matters.

Thanks for the well done. The pleasure is all mine.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 14, 2010:

Nice to meet you and your hard-to-forget biblical name, burning bush.

Thanks for your perceptive comments. If you are thinking of reading up on Dracula alias Vlad the Impaler, I can save you time and effort. That lovable Transylvania character is next to be interviewed.

Happy you found Genghis "enjoyable." His enemies might not have shared your view.:)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 14, 2010:

Hello, ladyjane. Delighted you had such a good laugh, and you are on the mark about growing up in the yurt. Mud floor, no heat, rain as the only running water, etc.

No problem yet with forgetting long dreams. If I do, I just make up the parts I don't remember.

Thank you for the "brilliant," the rated up and pushing all my buttons. You have permission to push them all any time, anywhere. Cheers to you, too.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 14, 2010:

Hi, Audrey, So glad you found Genghis; it wouldn't have been the same without you visiting and leaving your lovable comments.

Really appreciate you appreciating the finer things like my zingers interspersed with historical facts like GK's advance publicity crew, his bullying by "yo mamma" comments, etc.

Funny, but when I read his rule about punishment by death of those who urinate on ashes, I, too, thought it was a bit harsh even by Mongolian standards. But Christpher, a few comments before you, explained that wood and dung for fire-starting might have been in short supply, so putting out a fire could have been a dastardly deed.

Delighted you did not mind the poke since you know it is my extreme pleasure to "crack you up" at each and every opportunity.

Thanks for finding the way and the "masterpeice" remark. You're the one!

msorensson on November 14, 2010:

lolol...Well done!!

I love this part "When I was born I was holding a large blood clot in my fist – that’s a divine sign that I was destined to rule the largest world empire ever established. Like Rhode Island."

Thank you drbj...:-)

burning bush on November 14, 2010:

I am currently reading a biography of Ghengis Khan. Would have been much quicker and more informative to have read this hub. Very enjoyable. Thanks.

ladyjane1 from Texas on November 13, 2010:

Oh this is brilliant lady I laughed all the way through it, I especially like the yert and I guess I would have been grumpy too if I had to grow up in one. Btw you have long dreams I cant remember half of mine although I know I have them they seem to be fading out as I get older. Rated up and pushed your buttons as well. cheers.

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on November 13, 2010:

I have no clue how I missed this and oh my gosh - you are too funny for words (as we all know already). I love how you give us the facts but then you put in all the zingers. Gotta love the advance publicity folks and the 'yo mamma' references.

I also kinda like those rules of life....any adulterer should be put to death - regardless of being married or not - sounds good to me! Also he who urinates in ashes or water, maybe a little harsh but guess it would teach other people to not do it, eh?

Also love the Coffee Party.....god you crack me up! Thanks for giving me a poke on my hub and so glad I read these.....these are masterpieces!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 13, 2010:

Wow, thank you GG. I've always believed that history or almost any other subject, except perhaps calculus, is more palatable when delivered with a light touch. Thank you for the visit and the "inventive."

Now you can visit China again with all this added info.

Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on November 13, 2010:


Wow! Are you inventive! Great way to present history. Thank you! Wish I had read this before my travels to China.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 13, 2010:

Thank you for visiting, Christopher. You have now become my "go-to" person for relatively obscure, until now, facts about the danger of urinating on fires, either active or passive.

I appreciate the information and am extremely thankful we no longer have to cook with cow, yak, camel or any other dung. Speaking of dung, which I am not wont to do, take a look at my hub on "The Dung Beetle."

Thanks for your perspicacious comments.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 13, 2010:

Hi, Dimi. What loot? I don't know anything about any loot. My lips are sealed. Forgive me If I am not available for s while. I'm taking a trip - a long trip.

BTW, do you know where I can find a book that translates Uyghur to English?

Christopher Price from Vermont, USA on November 12, 2010:

Great hub, and I really liked the video clip...enough that I want to see the whole movie.

The death sentence for urinating on ashes likely came from the difficulty of starting a fire from scratch. Any embers and charcoal-like chunks left at the bottom of a fire pit would help to expidite the starting of the next fire. Many desert and plains areas also have little wood or fuel for fires. Cow, yak and camel dung is a common fuel for cooking fires and will absorb moisture more readily than wood. Pissing on the unburned fuel lingering in the ashes would be very wasteful and a bit like spitting in the soup. Creating a harsh penalty prevents anyone urinating on any fires...ever. And urine steam can be pretty stinky after a night of fermented yak milk.



De Greek from UK on November 12, 2010:

Ho0w did I miss this???

Please ask him where the loot is :-)))

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 12, 2010:

Hello, jacob - the thanks are mine. Thanks for the visit and finding the hub "interesting." Nice to have you stop by.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 12, 2010:

Hi, miclee, thanks for the "ha has, the nice and luving it." I aim to please.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 12, 2010:

Hello, UAG. Welcome. "Well organized," eh? That's a smashing comment.

Short, but smashing. Thank you.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 12, 2010:

Hello, Wesman, how nice to meet you. Thanks for both stopping by and following.

And the "awesome" comment is appreciated. Thank you for that, too. And the reference to Conn Igguiden - I will find some of his work to read, too.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 12, 2010:

susie, you got me with that mental picture of marmots roasting over an open fire. I spose it's OK if you're not roasting them in your fireplace. Ugh!

Funny you should mention students lining up for droves for my classes. I taught a college class in "Assertive Behavior" expecting perhaps 12 or 15 females to sign up. Turns out the class size was 75 - with 3/4 of them males. Had to move the class from a small classroom to an auditorium. That was an eye-opener for me. I guess word got around that I could make a serious subject interesting.

Still trying to do that today. Thank you for the visit and the delicious comments. "wit and intelligence." I can go for another week on those alone. :)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 12, 2010:

K9keystrokes - since your name indicates you are a friend of canines, then I am a friend of yours.

Thanks for your kind comments - it's my pleasure to meet you.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 12, 2010:

Ah, BJ, my namesake. Where have you been? I've missed your smiling visage.

"Fun and info mixed together" - that's one of my favorite occupations. Thank you for noticing and commenting.

Don't be a stranger. :)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 12, 2010:

Thank you, Feline Prophet for enjoying my hub so much you didn't want me to wake up. What a compliment!

Feel free to return any time, and take a look at my second historical effort: "Interview with Napoleon Bonaparte."

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 12, 2010:

Hi, Trinsick, so nice to meet you. You are so right - Genghis was a fascinating ruler who despite his lack of education turned out to be an extremely intelligent leader.

Did you dress up that day in History class as Genghis? What a fun idea. Cheers to your teacher.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 12, 2010:

My dear Colin - How do I count the ways that I enjoy our interactions and reading the sublime comments you post on my fortunate hubs? As well as reading your stunning, ingenious poetry on your hubs.

I am truly blessed and I do appreciate you and your generosity in allowing me to post my attempted poetic gems (?) on your genuine poetic hubs.

You nailed the essence of my existence - inform, educate and entertain simultaneously. Delighted you discovered that.

I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this effort re Genghis. Take a look at my second edition - the interview with Napoleon Bonaparte and let me know what you think. :)

Jacob from Delhi, India on November 11, 2010:

interesting hub


miclee on November 11, 2010:

Hahaah , nice buddy. I luv it

Used Acoustic Gui from New Zealand on November 11, 2010:

Well organised!

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on November 11, 2010:

You scored an "awesome" for this one, and a new "follower."

I loved Conn Iggulden's series on the Kahn who lived in Gers.

Sweetsusieg from Michigan on November 11, 2010:

Marmots? Hmmm, I have a few here, wonder if they taste better fried or roasted over an open fire? I should probably fatten them up a bit before Thanksgiving!

You should have been a teacher!! They would have lined up for your classes in droves, no matter what the lessons.

I can only imagine the interview that will one day happen when someone comes to you for it! They will have to use a video recorder as well as a tape recorder to make sure and get all the good parts!!!

You never cease to amaze me with your wit and intelligence.


India Arnold from Northern, California on November 10, 2010:

What a great idea for a hub. Wonderfully presented and interesting.


BJBenson from USA on November 09, 2010:

I know that you know by now that I surprise you once in a while. One of my favorite books I have read was a military book on the battle technique of Khan. He was something else.

I really did like this hub. Thank you for the fun and info mixed together.

Feline Prophet on November 09, 2010:

Mongolian history! You never really know what you'll find on HP! Too bad you woke up, drbj! :)

Trinsick from Cali on November 09, 2010:

I did a report on Genghis Khan in 6th grade, we dressed up like people from history and acted like a wax museum. Fascinating man.

epigramman on November 09, 2010:

...well you know the epigramman would love this one - and to be mentioned in the same breath as G. Khan on a stellar hub by DRBJ - well it doesn't get any better than that - you have a lot of wonderful and essential hubs but I'd have to say this is my favorite so far - a very creative and irreverent idea but yet you teach us so much about his factual life with great images and videos it's just too hard to resist - so I would call this your masterpiece with the inimitable ability you have to educate and entertain at the same time - and not everyone can do this sort of thing - but you do it so well .... and of course your comments to me as you know (and to others who must read them) are little poetic gems ......lucky me to have you do so!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 08, 2010:

Thank you, substance, a comment of substance from a commenter of substance. Doesn't get much better than that. FYI - M. Bonaparte is the next emperor I will exhume.

substance on November 08, 2010:

great article

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 07, 2010:

Thank you, sheila, for enjoying everything I write. I enjoy hearing from you.

An interview with Napoleon and one with Marco Polo? Why not? I'll add them to my list which is getting longer and longer. But I'm happy to get the suggestions. Thanks for visiting and commenting. :)

sheila b. on November 07, 2010:

Enjoyed this, as I enjoy everything you write. I noticed you commented you might do an interview with Bonaparte. That would be great. Marco Polo is another charcter who might have a lot to say, and I'd really be interested in what he would tell you.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 07, 2010:

Delighted to meet you, almasi. Thank you for "loving my writing style." That, of course, is why I love you! :)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 07, 2010:

Thank you, Big John, for taking the time to visit and educate me on the meaning of Temujin in Mongolian. "Iron" is a very appropriate name for Genghis - he had the will and drive of iron that an emperor must have. And I WAS wondering - couldn't find it anywhere.

almasi on November 07, 2010:

Love your writing style.

Big John on November 06, 2010:

Temujin is the period dialect of Mongolian for "Iron," in case you were wondering.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 06, 2010:

What a nifty comment, glenn - "being funny while dropping knowledge." That's precisely the point of what I try to do to make history appealing and memorable.

Delighted you caught my drift. It's a pleasure to meet you and thanks for your perceptive comment.

Create a series? That's a nifty idea, too. Perhaps I shall.

glenn wallace on November 06, 2010:

Being funny while dropping knowledge - not easy to do! This hub was delightful. You should do a whole series!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 06, 2010:

Yes, nicomp, Delaware does need some help.

Of course, the meanie, Wrath of Khan, is related to Genghis. He's the one who makes the number of descendants reach the total of 16 million.

And you don't have to steal the format. I will gladly sell it to you. Look for it on ebay soon. :)

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on November 06, 2010:

Rhode Island is probably better off without Mr. Khan, but Delaware might benefit from a change in leadership.

Is the mean guy from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan related to Genghis ?

Oh, by the way, I plan to steal this format very soon. :)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 05, 2010:

Hello, dear Andria, I've missed you. I am enamored of your wonderfully sublime comments, dare I say literally, your little frog "droppings".

You do know how to turn a phrase replete with smashing adjectives: "clever, entertaining, enjoyable, absolute treat, wonderfully, beautifully and the fabulous drbj-fully done."

Thank you, thank you, you're the one m'luv, with utter class. :)

Andria on November 05, 2010:

Clever, entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable drbj. One of the best hubs I've read in ages. Loving history as I do, this was an absolute treat. Wonderfully, beautifully ... drbj-fully done. Utter class :)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 05, 2010:

Ah, mystery lady, you discovered my secret, sort of. Although I have never been a teacher per se, I have taught various and sundry subjects as a professor and seminar leader. And I learned early on, the best way to keep a student motivated and AWAKE is to inject humor and laughter wherever possible. So I try to do that with my hubs, too, if it's applicable.

Thanks for noticing that and the "delightful" and "masterful" adjectives.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 05, 2010:

Hi, Art, I could never be as fantastic as you - especially with your tattoo graphics and videos. Thanks for the "awesome" and "brilliantly presented". You are welcome to return - any time.

Hope your weekend is awesome - just don't break the hearts of too many of those lil red-headed gals.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 05, 2010:

Yo, Debbie. Re your question about the umbilical cord necktie at birth, I know that in the middle ages a child born with a caul (part of the amniotic sac) on his or her head was thought to be destined for great things just like ole Genghis with his blood clot.

So can I expect you to run for high office soon?

I have considered doing hubs on other famous long-gone historical figures so ole Bonaparte may be added to that list.

In the meantime, thanks for your generous comments - "brilliant" and "fantastic" are some of my faves.

mysterylady 89 from Florida on November 05, 2010:

This was absolutely delightful, drbj! I agree with other hubbers' comments. You would have been one hell of a good teacher. You could have written a rather boring historical hub, but your combining history with humor was masterful!

BadCompany77. on November 05, 2010:

Totally awesome idea moi friend and brilliantly presented but be careful now with the 2 way conversations, dont want ya turning into me lol, enjoy yer weekend, great idea !!

debbiesdailyviews on November 05, 2010:

Oh my Giddy Aunt, That was brilliant to the highest degree.

We learn great things from you our Teacher.

You know when you said Big G's sign tha he was to ruel the world was due to the fact he was born with a blood clot ( i've just done the sign that goes with the last two words. Ya know snappin me fingers in the air. " what ya no " yo yo maaaaan, ) ( sorry )

in his hand. Well I was born with the cord around me Neck !

So what's my divine right ! ? and before ya say it, I know it was to breath.

Any road up, please oh please O great Master of our Universe, ( well hubland )

Please do a Hub on Napoleon.

He is so great he doesn't need his last name,

That reminds me. Do you think Dolly knows more on Geng, ( i feel I know him well enough now, Thanx to you )

than she lets on, cos she also gives all the jobs to all her relatives.

Fantastic Hub, you're a Prince among Men. : ]

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 04, 2010:

It's my pleasure to include your link, James. I believe it gives my efforts the mark of respectability. :)

And if you would like to link mine to yours, be my guest.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 04, 2010:

I enjoyed your rhyming comment, luabo, thank you. And those who know me have probably never seen me offended. Surprised and hysterical perhaps, but not offended.

So it's no problem. Pleasure to meet you.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 04, 2010:

Hello, Successful Living, how nice to meet you here. Thank you for your gracious comments - "imaginative and creative" are two of my favorite adjectives.

I totally agree with you that if teachers would find more ways to inject a bit of humor into history lessons and such, there would be fewer students dropping out of school.

Come back and visit any time.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 04, 2010:

Thanks, AC, I made a slight mistake about the mole. I mentioned "The Star Nose Mole" but it is "The Naked Mole Rat" with the interview style I wanted to mention.

Just goes to prove I don't know my mole from a hole in the ground. :)

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